Thursday, April 06, 2006

Springing Forward, Blogging Back

Why do we even bother with Daylight Savings Time?  Wouldn't it just be easier to start the workday and all activities an hour earlier in the day starting in the Spring rather than having to dink with moving the clock back?
I got my new issue of Discover magazine yesterday. This article in particular struck me: All Aboard the Cow Train. Snip: "The Svensk Biogas company of Linköping, Sweden, has built a locomotive that runs on cows and cow manure. The $1.25 million engine, which replaces an old Fiat diesel-powered locomotive along a local commuter line, is billed as the most environmentally friendly train in the world ."
At first glance, this looks great!  Then you read a little further: "Until recently, only cow manure and other farm waste fueled this process. This summer, however, Svensk found a way to use the whole heifer. Now the company chops up the cows and converts their guts, fat, and bones into an organic sludge, which then gets processed as before.

Obviously, there's a huge question left here - please Maude tell me that they're not raising the cows *specifically* to butcher them in order to throw 'em into the railroad hopper??  Please tell me that they're only "recycling" the entire animal after they've died of natural causes after a long and happy lifetime of frolicking in the fields producing manure for the train instead? 'Cuz if not - this next sentence is really horrifying:

"It takes about 30 cows to power the train along its 75-mile route from Linköping to Västervik, one of the countryside's most beautiful stretches of rail."

So that would be what, 2.5 cows/mile efficiency? First it's cows..what's next?  Rounding up stray dog/cats?  Unclaimed human corpses from the morgue? I don't know... it's starting to sound like the basis for a creepy Stephen King novel, crossed with the Polar Express.  Let's call it the Corpse Express.  Maybe Tom Hanks will agree to narrate?

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